Rail reports & plans

Rail System Plan work underway

The 2019 Rail System Plan work is underway and will update the 2014 State Rail Plan (see below) to provide a framework for future passenger and freight rail actions. The plan will analyze existing rail systems, identify trends, outline planning, programming and coordination strategies and also include an investment plan for infrastructure and equipment. Specific goals include:

  • Identify a preferred growth/performance scenario for Amtrak Cascades, including needed plans and infrastructure.
  • Identify performance objectives for the state-owned short-line freight rail system, including ways to meet those goals.
  • Identify strategies to improve connection between rail and other modes of transportation.

Stakeholders will have opportunities to comment on the draft plan expected out in early 2019. For details, contact Paul Krueger, 206-464-1281 or Jason Beloso, 206-464-1259

State Rail Plan 2013-2035
State Rail Plan (pdf 8.2mb)
The Washington State Rail Plan serves as a strategic blueprint for future public investment in the state’s rail transportation system, including freight and passenger rail, including 5- and 20-year funding strategies. The plan informs the state Freight Mobility Plan; guides WSDOT as it develops strategic freight rail partnerships to support essential rail service; and establishes priorities for determining which freight rail investments should receive public support. It also guides Washington as it works with Oregon and British Columbia to further implement intercity passenger rail service. The Federal Railroad Administration approved the plan on Feb. 25, 2014. The plan was finalized and officially adopted on March 18, 2014.

Recent Planning Efforts:

Ultra-High-Speed Transportation studies
WSDOT, along with partners the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Province of British Columbia and Microsoft, is conducting a business case study on ultra-high-speed ground transportation that would cut trips from Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia and Portland, Oregon to 1 hour each. For more details visit the study page.

Fleet Management Plan to identify strategies to maximize operation, maintenance and procurement of passenger rail equipment.
WSDOT developed a Fleet Management Plan (pdf 2mb), in collaboration with ODOT, to maximize the optimal longevity of the Amtrak Cascades fleet. The plan is a requirement of the federally funded American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) program administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The plan was approved in 2017.

Station Stop Policy - WSDOT and the Oregon Department of Transportation with the assistance of an Advisory Committee, developed and finalized a corridor-wide Station Stop Policy Guidance Document (pdf 3.5mb), regarding proposals to add, remove or skip station stops for Amtrak Cascades service. The policy was signed on June 1, 2016.

Freight System Plan
The 2017 Washington State Freight System Plan is complete. It was submitted to the Federal Highway Administration and certified on Dec. 1, 2017. 

 

Amtrak Cascades Performance Reports

The Amtrak Cascades intercity passenger rail system is a service of the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). As managers of the system and good stewards of state funds, WSDOT is committed to monitoring and reporting on Amtrak Cascades’ performance.